augury doggerel

Monday, November 11, 2002


We carried Jack to the top of the highest hill around here. I set him on the edge and asked, "Murder?" She laughed and gave him a hard kick to the back of the skull, and over he went, rolling down the hill, pinballing off trees. But Jack was dead and rotting before we took him out to the woods. We were just getting rid of his stinking, oozing head.

Then off to unexplored woods. We found holes in the ground, the sort boys might dig, but she knew they were the graves of witches (she reads about witches) and walked carefully past a ghost walking a wolf. One hole, she said, was the empty grave of Johann Sebastian Bach. (Too many piano lessons? Anyway, no decomposer jokes.) I started to hum the main theme of Die Kunst der Fuge but she made me stop, supposedly because ghosts don't allow it, but I get the feeling she doesn't like my singing. When we came to the real cemetery, we went in, and there near the gate were the graves of a man and woman named Bach, and then of a man named Wolf.

But the sun came through the trees, old women tended the graves of old men, and a red squirrel hopped down from the trees and went running and hopping over the stones. We followed, and the kid was just a tree trunk's breadth away�I could see them in profile, each alive to the other through two feet of tree�when the squirrel shot up and leaped from treetop to treetop and gone.


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